It is easier to live with grace when everything is going well for us, when life happens the way we would like it to happen, and when our energy levels are high. Bad days, on the other hand, well they take a certain level of consciousness to live through with grace.
When we don’t really know how to manage ourselves, bad days can really take over our life. They hold the power to completely change our perspective of people and life. They can feel bottomless and endless.
But there is a golden darkness in these bad days. And once we learn to handle ourselves, once we learn to live with grace through days like that, we find that dark days give you a chance to rest, reflect, and nourish your soul. They give you a chance to face lessons, and work through karma.
To live with grace means to live with peace; to be unstirred by the energetic ups and downs of our system, until eventually, they begin to stabilize and you reach a peaceful and joyful level at all times.
I believe that in order for our emotions to stabilize, we have to learn to be more sensitive to ourselves. To observe the ebb and flow of our inner environment, and to be able to adapt to what our inner self needs from us at a particular time.
So whether you slip into days of melancholy, or you are truly heartbroken after a tragedy, we have to be able to recognize when we need a different level of care, and we have to be able to give that gift to our selves.
In order to navigate the stormy waters of a dark day, there are certain focuses that I try to keep in mind.
1. Try not to cause pain to others
When you are caught in the palms of a low energy day and you are not sure how to manage yourself and the negative energy built up within you, it can be easy to for it to spill into your relationships. We can lash out at others, bring up old wounds, create disturbances in our relationships. It is almost like we subconsciously want others to feel as terrible as we feel.
I think it is important to make a firm agreement within yourself that you will not exist in a way today that will bring pain to another person. If this means that you need to ask for space to tend to yourself, then that is what you should do.
You can choose to live gently through this dark day. You can choose to live with grace by not bringing pain to another being.
2. Try to do what is necessary
I know that there can be days where you just want to take a day off of life. But try to do what is necessary. You don’t have to do everything, but you should try do the most important things.
Make a list of 3 things that should be done today and do them. Take your time to do them and do them with consciousness and presence of mind.
3. Spend time watching or reading something uplifting
It can be difficult to create positive energy within you, but it is not so difficult to simply absorb something uplifting. Instead of spiralling away into the depths of melancholy, dedicate some part of your day to absorbing something that is soothing and uplifting.
4. Get organized for the future
Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to create on a dark day. But we can channel that energy to spend some time organizing and getting ready for life tomorrow. Use this time to look over your weekly schedule and plan the day ahead. Look at your focuses and goals for the month. Plan a trip.
5. Channel your energies wisely
No matter how bad the day, it is still a day of your life. You are still alive and you have the vital energy to pour into some area of your life. But choose wisely and don’t be afraid to abandon ship if it is not working out.
I am having a low energy day, but I feel guilty if I don’t study. So I attempt to study, but it is unsuccessful. I can’t absorb any information, but I still force myself to sit there for 5 hours and read. Finally I give up, and decide to do something relaxing and soul-nourishing. But by this point, I am already pretty drained from studying and the day has passed. With this, I am left with a feeling of dissatisfaction. I didn’t study well (I can barely remember anything I read), neither did I relax well. I begin my next day feeling behind and unrested.
Eventually, I realized that I call the shots on my how my energies should be spent. And so now, it looks more like this:
I am having a low-energy day. I acknowledge this quickly. I can feel it within me. I start studying because I will feel guilty if I don’t. One hour in and every cell in my system is telling me “Nope. Nope. Nope.” I acknowledge this. I decide to abandon ship. Today studying is a no-fly zone. Instead, I make a study plan for the week. I try to get other small things done that are easy to put off or find time for during the week. I take care of myself. I allow myself to replenish my energy. I go to sleepy early and wake up early, feeling ready for a new beginning.
6. Let me be at peace with these feelings
On days like this, it is helpful to spend a few minutes in meditation with the mantra “Let me be at peace with these feelings.”
Your mind can generate all kinds of feelings within you, but the option to be at peace with them is always available to you. Sometimes we just need to take a moment to acknowledge that.
Here are some other ideas of small things that helps nourish me on dark days.
Make a bad day box: I think this is a really sweet idea to make not only for yourself, but for your children and friends too. A box of a few cherished items, quotes, crystals, photographs, letters from friends.
Light a beautiful candle
Buy/pick flowers for your room
Burn some incense
Have a conversation with your favourite little person (your child, a niece or nephew etc).
Get cozy: Blanket, a hot drink, a few pieces of chocolate.
Take a cool shower: Showering in water that is slightly cooler than room temperature increases your receptivity and gets your prana moving.
Do something nice for somebody: Smile, help someone out in a small way, reach out.
Take a walk
Get something small done: Like responding to e-mails, taking out the garbage, reorganize your sock drawer, pay bills, work on your resume, research an opportunity you have been meaning to look into etc.
Spend time with a pet
Work out: Go to the gym and give your all to your work out. Go for a run. Or practice yoga at home.
Take a nap: Put on your favourite show, and fall asleep.
Go for a massage
Meditation: For me, this is something that happens every day, but it is especially required on the dark days.
Read: Sink into a good book.
Declutter your space
Collect happy photographs: Look over happy photographs, make an album, make a “photo story”.
Make yourself a hot drink
Make music: Practice the instrument you play.
Do something creative: Is there a creative outlet to your emotions? Can you paint it, photograph it, compose poetry or a song about it?
Take a long hot bath: Using fragrant essential oils.
Write: A journal entry, a blog post, a poem, a story. Just write.